Hoppers welcome Sheffield Tigers

Date: 24 October 2018

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Sheffield Tigers

Preston Grasshoppers welcome Sheffield Tigers to Lightfoot Green this Saturday for what will be just their fourth home game this season, two of which have proved successful with just the one defeat at the hands of fellow Lancastrians Sedgley Park.

With the same number of points but by virtue of one more victory, our visitors currently sit just one place above us in the table. Tigers started the season well with all three of their victories coming in the first month, but have lost in their three games during October.

Hoppers couldn’t hang onto the lead during the closing stages of yet another game last week, losing out in an entertaining end to end match during which they fought back from a nine point deficit with less than a quarter of the game remaining to take the lead once again only to let it slip away deep into injury time. They could count themselves a tad unlucky however with, as happened in the Macclesfield game, Tom Davidson (pictured above with ball) hit the upright twice from kicks at goal.

We only have a short history of meetings with our visitors and senior Sheffield side from Dore Moor which all began after their promotion to Level 4 rugby in 2011. The Tigers were relegated after three seasons at this level but bounced back in 2016 and have now consolidated and are enjoying their second spell and in total sixth season in National 2 North.

The two clubs have met eight times since the Yorkshire side elevated themselves to this level in the league pyramid with Hoppers winning four and our visitors the same number thanks to a victory at Dore More in the last meeting between the two back in 2017. Those who travelled over to Yorkshire for that game won’t forget witnessing one of the worst performances by a Hoppers side when they were ‘nilled’ by the Tigers. Out of the twenty players who played in that game, only a quarter are still actively involved at First XV level for Hoppers and it’s pleasing to say that they help form the strong nucleus of the current squad of forwards.


Matt Crow made his debut for Hoppers 1stXV during our last home game against Macclesfield and Rouben Birch scored his first tries for the club at Leicester Lions last week with a brace.

Preview by Mike Forshaw, picture by Mike Craig

Team News

1. Oga Mabaya
2. PJ Millea (C)
3. Peter Altham
4. Paul Arnold
5. Luke Procter
6. Alastair Murray
7. Oliver Trippier
8. Matthew Lamprey
9. James Gough
10. Thomas Davidson
11. Conor Trueman
12. James Fitzpatrick
13. Sam Stott
14. Tyler Spence
15. Alex Hurst

16. Tyler Sloane
17. Adam Howard
18. Rouban Birch
19. Matt Crow
20. Alex Ward

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